Bringing It Together: Three Approaches to Combine Agile Software Development and Human-Centered Design

  • Michael MingeEmail author
  • Antonia Föhl
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 876)


Nowadays, many software companies rely on a development process that includes both, an agile implementation of technical functionalities and a human-centered design approach for finding the right interaction concept. However, in practice, these two approaches do not easily fit together: Human-centered activities need much time before and during implementation. Early user tests might yield “unfavorable” results, such as the need for revising a technically correct operating functionality due to usability problems. In consequence, this leads to ad hoc prioritizations, asynchronous iterations, and communication problems between team members. Therefore, in practice, a strong need exists to find an appropriate way to combine agile development and human-centered design activities. In this contribution, three kinds of possible approaches are presented: One sprint ahead, dual task development, and integrative approaches. These approaches will be discussed with respect to their strengths and weaknesses. Task integration is considered to be particularly promising in order to improve communication through interdisciplinary cooperation and to develop innovative, user-friendly design solutions.


Usability User experience User-centered design Agile development Sprint zero One sprint ahead Lean UX 



This work has been supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the project “Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Usability” (Förderkennzeichen: 01MF17013C).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics, Insitute of Psychology and ErgonomicsTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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